What are probiotics?
Probiotics are defined as “live microorganisms, which when consumed in adequate amounts, confer a health effect on the host”.1
The various probiotic formulations that are available are not equivalent to one another and differ on many important characteristics:
- Strength of the formulation (measured in CFUs)
- Manufacturing and production
- Shelf-life of the probiotic
- Ability to deliver bacteria to the gut (site of action)
- Clinical evidence of efficacy
- Health Canada approved indications (uses)
Some probiotics can prevent diarrhea which often occurs with antibiotic use (antibiotic-associated diarrhea or AAD) and can reduce the risk Clostridium difficile associated diarrhea (CDAD). Bio-K+, a proprietary formulation of L. acidophilus CL1285, L. casei LBC80R and L. rhamnosus CLR2 , is the only probiotic approved by Health Canada for the prevention of both AAD and CDAD.
Learn more! After completing this program, you will understand:
- The function of the intestinal microbiota and the impact of antibiotics on its balance
- The health consequences of dysbiosis following antibiotic use, including AAD, and its predisposing risk factors.
- The unique properties of different probiotic formulations and the impact that this has on efficacy.
- The efficacy of probiotic formulations that are approved for use in the prevention of AAD and CDAD.
Test Your Knowledge
Which of the following are potential benefits of probiotics?
- Supporting a healthy digestive tract
- Supporting a healthy immune system
- Reducing the risk diarrhea related to antibiotic use
- Preventing infection with Clostridium difficile
- All of the above
Dragana Skokovic-Sunjic, RPh BScPhm NCMP
This program is sponsored by